The work boot craze left a lot of guys yearning for a lighter kind of winter footwear. Our answer has always been Portland’s Danner, designed for marathon-length hikes through the Oregon woods. And as of now, you’ll have five new designs to choose from, arriving online today. (They’re the ones at the bottom of the page.) The biggest update is a Vibram 2060 outsole, making them even lighter than the ones you’re used to.
Circa 2007, they were one of the coolest brands there was—a playful riff on the workwear obsession that was only beginning to show its teeth—but as the flood of Barbours and Red Wings gave way to Isaia and double-monks, Daiki Suzuki’s brand of well-tailored woodsiness hasn’t been quite as much in demand.
So how does one of the best designers in the business respond to a sea change? Let’s just say it gets interesting...
There are a couple lessons to be gleaned from A Treasury Of’s ode to fall essentials, but lesson #1 comes from that duck canvas jacket. If you thought the chore coat was a workwear relic—and we’ll be honest, we had our doubts—this is the pic that proves you wrong.
Will doesn’t look like he’s on his way to do manual labor here. If anything, the wing collar gives it a ’70s-YSL vibe, which is a pretty good vibe to have these days. And as it happens, duck canvas is a pretty good fall hue.
Lesson #2: while Labor Day is now a distant memory, you’ve probably got another few weeks of life in those white jeans.
Ladies and gentlemen, your workwear royal wedding...
Filson and Levi’s Fall 2011 collaboration arrives online here Monday morning, so we thought we'd give you an early peek to whet your appetite. It’s only five items—three jackets, a denim vest and a pair of pants—but it’s just about everything you could want in a Levi's crossover with the tin cloth artisans.
Our favorite so far is probably the oil-finish trucker jacket on the left, but there’s a lot more to like. The big surprise is how tempting it all looks now that it’s not quite so hip. Even the more avant garde items like the denim hunting vest seem pitched more at aficionados than trendwatchers—something that wouldn’t have been true a few seasons back.
After carrying the flag for the Urban Lumberjack look (and, before that, the Urban Equestrian look), Freeman’s Sporting Club has learned a few new tricks.
To start with, they’re locavores. Their newly launched e-commerce site marks items by how close to the NYC shop they were stitched together. Usually, the answer is the garment district of Manhattan…but it’s nice to know for sure.
They’re also making a strong case for the one-button blazer with this irish linen number. It’s a sharp pattern, just rustic enough to keep you from being confused for a banker—but most of all, it’s as far from workwear as you can get.
So far we’re calling it Urban Gentleman, but we're open to suggestions.
Here’s a pretty good claim on the next 30 seconds of your life: Core77 has a sharp roundup of the firemen’s helmets of the world, including some genuinely strange European models. Apparently the classic eagle-topped leather version is still one of the best money can buy. Score one for the old ways.
As you might remember, we left the last round of shows buzzing about Riviera Club, and we’ve finally got a few lookbook shots to show you why. On the surface, it’s another line from the workwear mill, but there’s a more than a little continental flair below the surface. (Exhibit A: the porkpied and neckerchiefed gentleman on the right.) Keep an eye out for these when they roll into stores in August.
Storage is never pretty. In fact, we’d probably opt for pocketless pants if we didn’t have all this stuff to carry. Our general rule is, the more discreet, the better. Which is why, for all its military canvas cred, we have to cast a slightly skeptical eye at this Woolrich belt pack.
It bumps hard against the main limit of workwear: you’re not actually a carpenter. (Apologies to any actual carpenters.)
In the case of work boots, it’s fine to have a little more durability than you strictly need. But in the case of this belt pack, it’s hard to avoid the question of what you’ll actually put in them. If the answer is a hammer, a tape measure and roofing nails, then you’re fine. But if the answer involves your iPhone, you might be better off with pockets.
Our New Favorite Blanket…: …is a wool blanket from Prince Edward Island, where the sheep seem to have superpowers. [Archival Clothing]
Tough as Boots: A 19th century hobo known as “the leather man” is about to be exhumed. Baller. [NYTimes]
Real Talk: Dan Neil makes a serious workwear cred grab, posting pics of his ten-year-old Carhartt jacket and calling out soft-handed hipsters for biting his steez. Mr. Neil, when we bite your steez, you’ll know it. [Wall Street Journal]
And Just Because It’s Friday: Here’s Nacho Figueras riding a Dr. Seuss creature. [The Gloss]
Ladies and gentlemen, the toughest pants in the world. They’re not the perfect stylebut there’s something to be said for brute durability.
They're called firehose pants—no jokes, please—because the fabric is the same canvas you’ll find on the outside of a rubber firehose, weighing in at 11½ ounces per square yard. (To give you some idea, a heavy-duty drop cloth will usually be ten-ounce.) Throw in double-chapping panels down the legs and you’ve got a nigh indestructible pair of pants.
Of course, they're not the perfect style—we’d prefer something a little slimmer at the ankles, for starters—and they're bound to be overkill if your job doesn’t involve blasting holes into things. But if you ever need a pair of pants that can withstand a little underwater drilling, you'll know where to find them.
We’re still recovering from the sheer quantity of green, corduroy-collared Barbour coats we saw at the Pop Up Flea, so we thought it might be time for a slight variation. Maybe something a little thicker…
This Spiewak deck jacket has the same rich waxed cotton look as your beloved Barbour, but the sheepcoat lining is thick enough to push it into Jeremiah Johnson territory—and make it a lot more snow-ready than most of its waxed cousins. They’ve been making industrial jackets for firemen, paramedics and soldiers for upwards of a century—presumably in a forward-thinking bid to shore up their workwear cred—but the off-center buttons put the whole thing just off-center enough to stay current.
As for what to do with your old Barbour, your girlfriend would probably take it off your hands…
Dickies’ 1922 line sees the light of day today with a handsome pair of pants and a pretty good shirt built as exact replicas of the two items they started off with 88 years ago. You can see the replicated details here, but it boils down to pleated pockets, heavy-duty belt loops and a remarkably elaborate button-fly.
Sure, Dickies is coming a little late to the archival party, but we’re never sad to see a sturdier breed of khaki. The rough-handed fabrics that steered us away from Dickies’ before are still in evidence, but they’re rough for a reason: They’re indestructible. Anyone interested in work-ready khakis should add these to the wishlist.